Monday, May 26, 2014

Western States Training Update: Weeks 13-18, Fits and Starts

"Fits and starts" best describes these six weeks of training. Venturing into uncharted territory has resulted in some set-backs. I have yet to execute the gradual, steady improvement that I know is prudent. My progress has reflected the blue line, not the red:

Tendinitis spooked me in late March (week 12) and I took three days off at the beginning of April to rest my foot. The tendinitis dissipated, and I was able to get in a solid block of training in the lead up to Lake Sonoma 50. A patient approach to the 50 miler resulted in a solid performance. I executed my plan perfectly and suffered few niggles.

Lake Sonoma

Accomplishing my goals at Lake Sonoma bolstered my confidence to an all time high and I kept training through week 15 with no rest. That week, a lingering niggle on the top of my left ankle began speaking up. I could still run comfortably, and headed out for a 20 miler on Saturday. By the end of the run I was hobbling, and immediately began R.I.C.E.. Symptoms persisted, resulting in another six days without running. Doubt abounded.

I eased back into running in week 16 hashing with the Cougars and enjoying a Sunday jog with Twirly on the Hirschman Trail in Nevada City.

I skipped The Canyons 50k in week 17. I actually felt pretty good by that weekend, but Ann and others reminded me that getting back to 100% was more important that another notch in my race belt. Those canyons are not going anywhere. I'll spend some quality time in there this weekend for the Memorial Day Training Camp. Twirly and I got in some quality miles together in Foresthill and camping at Ruck-a-Chucky campground after a brief stop at the Canyons finish line.

Cal St.

Ann has earned her keep on my team, preventing me from doing too much too soon after being sidelined. Her almost daily counsel enabled me to continue to prepare despite running low miles. I am extremely happy with her assistance thus far and look forward to quality work in the weeks to come.

Week 18 saw me return to a solid week (45+). Double workouts helped; aqua jogging or 2-3 miles in the morning followed by 5 or more in the evenings. This approach allowed me to ramp up quickly without fatiguing any weaknesses. Long runs were tempered by practicing 100 mile pace to keep things easy.

Weeks 13 - 18 on Strava View

Training in earnest resumed the following week. Despite all the fits and starts, I feel strong, confident and capable at this point. Training Camp weekend looms, and will contribute to 105 miles over seven days. Daunting but exciting, the upcoming weeks look to be some of the most rewarding of my running career thus far.

See you on the trails!

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